Northalsted Embraces Inclusion; Doesn’t Forget The Past
In response to concerns that the use of ‘Boystown’ in marketing is exclusionary, Northalsted sought community input via an eight week online survey, which concluded September 15.
While the Northalsted chamber has used the name ‘Boystown’ in recent marketing campaigns, it does not have any claim nor rights to the name, which has been in popular use by the public since the 1980s.
The community will decide whether the name Boystown continues to be used outside of marketing.
The area has been home to diverse businesses and communities of all stripes, and has a meaningful history for the LGBTQ+ community and the Pride movement in Chicago. Whether it’s called Northalsted, Boystown or otherwise, the cultural significance of this district to the LGBTQ+ community will not be erased as long as our past is not forgotten.
Now that the rainbow pylons and Legacy Project memorial have been recognized as an official Chicago landmark, the LGBTQ+ history will only be strengthened.
A few key takeaways from the survey as follows:
- 7,890 respondents
- 3,060 comments
- 1,350 suggestions for new names
- 58% favor keeping the Boystown moniker
- 80% did not feel unwelcome by the Boystown name
The survey queried participants on categories of self-identification. While an overall majority neither were offended by the name nor want it changed, those identifying as Lesbian, Transgender, non-binary and queer largely do favor a name change.
To acknowledge and welcome all members of the LGBTQ+ community, the chamber will discontinue using the name Boystown in marketing and revert to the long standing name Northalsted. An accompanying slogan “Chicago’s Proudest Neighborhood” has been an addition since 2014.
While a personal identifier cannot encompass the full diversity of our town, the name Northalsted, signifies the place, it’s entire community & history, inclusively.
The chamber will continue to operate as the Northalsted Business Alliance supporting the Northalsted area, as it has done since 1980.